The Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Fly It Forward® Challenge that took place during the 8th annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 5-11, 2018.
Every year since 2010, communities and individuals have organized local activities to raise awareness and introduce girls of all ages to the multiple facets of the air and space industry during the Week of March 8, the anniversary date of the world’s first female pilot license.
iWOAW motivates and supports small to large actions across the globe and rewards the most successful participants with its coveted Fly It Forward® Awards. Strict rules apply to ensure the integrity of the results. Only 117 of 179 activities organized to celebrate the Week were eligible for award consideration.
Airport, Corporation, and Association Fly It Forward® Awards
Flight is the end product of all aviation and aerospace careers. Making flight happen is why industry executives, engineers, air traffic controllers, and of course pilots go to work every day. An introduction to flight in a small aircraft is the single most effective approach to sparking aviation vocations among women and girls.
Because all flights begin and end at airports, iWOAW awards its Most Female Friendly Airport Worldwide Award to the airport that documents the most Fly It Forward® flights during the Week. In 2018, Northern Colorado Regional Airport, CO, USA, documented a new global record for most first flights given during one week – 1,696 – and won the airport award.
Traditionally, industry stakeholders claim to support women’s advancements by listing how they outsource their outreach and support efforts.
Closing the gender gap begins with an internal mindset shift. iWOAW recognizes for-profit and nonprofit organizations that engage their employees and members respectively and take tangible steps to foster gender balance in the air and space industry during the Week.
23% of Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility employees took part in two Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week 2018 activities – the highest percentage of internal engagement among all participating for-profit corporations. It won the 2018 Most Female Friendly Corporation Worldwide Award.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Aeronautical Association motivated its members to organize 64 Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week activities ranging from parachute jumping to flights to industry facilities visits to model building to museum and school events. It won the 2018 Most Female Friendly Association Worldwide Award.
Pilot Fly It Forward® Awards
Pilots love to fly. Male or female, pilots who want to serve as role models and introduced the next generation of women and girls to aviation fly it forward during the Week. iWOAW celebrates these gender balance advocates with a separate category of awards.
The top 10 performing pilots, five women and five men from the USA and Canada, conducted nearly 10% of the Week’s 12,408 documented Fly It Forward® flights.
No pilot, male or female, has ever personally inspired more girls of all ages to become a pilot than Dianna Stanger of Texas, USA, has. In 2018, she introduced 716 women and girls to flight in her Eurocopter EC135 to bring her total girl flight introductions since 2011 to 3,115. She wins the 2018 Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide title.
Given the scarcity of female pilots globally, the role of male pilots in changing the face of aviation is critical. iWOAW salutes the men who step out of ranks and choose to introduce girls of all ages to the magic of flying in a small aircraft during the Week.
Rick Turley of Colorado said that he felt honored to have been invited to participate. Flying a Cessna 182, he introduced 63 women and girls to flying during the Week and won the 2018 Most Supportive Male Pilot Worldwide.
Activity Organizer Fly It Forward® Awards
The heroes of the Week are the individuals who motivate participation in their community and spend countless hours to organize activities to reach out to women and girls under iWOAW’s award-winning guidelines. iWOAW relies on them to create local culture sensitive activities tailored for girls of all ages.
Fly It Forward® Awards for activity organizers fall into two basic categories, each with a sub-category for activities with flights or without flights.
The Most Productive Organizer Worldwide awards take into account the size of the event while the Most Acclaimed Organizer Worldwide awards center on quality using feedback from all participants.
Ronnie Bogart of Colorado, USA, a helicopter pilot, was the spirit behind the Week’s largest flight-related event to date at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport. She won the 2018 Most Productive Organizer Worldwide Award in the activity-with-flights category. Meanwhile, Abigail Glenn-Chase of ATCA motivated the 7,500 attendees of the World ATM Congress in Madrid, Spain, to get to the halls early to contribute to iWOAW’s Pink Paper Plane Guinness World Records attempt on March 8 and celebrate the Week during the Congress. She won the 2018 Most Productive Organizer Worldwide Award in the activity-without-flights category.
Corinne Herren, a ULM pilot in Montfaucon, France, did not let a cold that kept her grounded during the Week put a stop to her plan – introducing women and girls to flying during the Week. She relied on the pilots of the ULM Club Lotois to pick up the slack and get the girls airborne during the Week. She won the 2018 Most Acclaimed Organizer Worldwide Award in the activity-with-flights category. Meanwhile, Mahmut Aksit, CEO of Turkey’s Tusaş Engine Industries (TEI) Inc. supported the organization’s third participation in the Week’s celebration. Girls from local high schools competed in TEI’s fun and educative aircraft building challenge. He won the 2018 Most Acclaimed Organizer Worldwide Award in the activity-without-flights category.
Winners will receive their awards at the Fly It Forward® Award ceremony during iWOAW’s Gender Balance Symposium in Toulouse, France, May 30-June 1, 2018.
The 9th annual Fly It Forward Challenge will take place worldwide during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week 2019, March 4-10, 2019.